Body Language Expert Says Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ Memoir Cover Photo Has a ‘Shocking’ Aspect

A body language expert analyzed the cover photo for Prince Harry’s memoir titled Spare, pointing out how his facial expression was revealing. The expert called the photo “very telling” of the way Harry believes he was treated by the royal family.

Prince Harry looking at camera, close up
Prince Harry | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Body language expert analyzes Prince Harry’s memoir cover photo

Publisher Penguin Random House recently revealed that Harry’s book is titled Spare and promises “raw, unflinching honesty.”

Prince Harry poses on the front cover in a close-up shot showing the Duke of Sussex with a forward-facing gaze and serious expression.

Body language expert Judi James shared her analysis of the cover with Express. “This is not a photo to tell us Harry’s pain is now no longer baggage he carries with him,” she noted.

James continued, “This headshot seems to create a mirror image for the reader, eye to eye and face to face, and it’s not an expression that seems to have been chosen to illustrate that inspirational man who has been saved by the power of love.”

The expert further noted how the image doesn’t convey Harry as “a fun, smiling, playful man” nor as “the family man either, hugging his adoring wife and children.”

Prince Harry’s asymmetric expression is ‘quite shocking,’ expert points out

James detected a slight “hint of a smile” in Harry’s expression, however. “This is a solo pose and a direct gaze (presumably to suggest openness and honesty) and there is only the faintest hint of a smile from a very tiny upward curl of one of the corners of his mouth,” she explained.

The body language expert also pointed out the asymmetrical aspect of the image. “This cover expression with the word ‘Spare’ on it suggests we are being invited into Harry’s grief, pain and sadness though and he looks partly as though he is still hurting. Why?” she pondered.

“Well, this is an asymmetric facial pose,” James explained. “Place your hand over one side of his face and he looks relatively relaxed and with that hint of a smile. Place it over the other though and the difference is quite shocking.”

According to James, “The eye expression looks darker and more intense and the lips are straight. So we are seeing two sets of signals in one shot.”


Body Language Expert Analyzes ‘Childish’ Prince Harry Photo, Calls It ‘Unsettling’

Prince Harry’s memoir title tells a lot in a single word, according to expert

The photo and the title, James said, are revealing. “This cover photo looks very telling. Someone once said that the past is best viewed through a rear-view mirror as you move forward in your life,” she noted. “There is nothing ‘rear-view’ about this choice of pose or the title of Harry’s book though.”

She continued, “The word ‘spare’ will of course have instant implications of the phrase ‘the heir and the spare’ that the royals tend to use.”

James added, “It seems to instantly put our finger on the pulse of Harry’s historic complaints. How did he feel about growing up as the ‘spare’ with his brother being viewed as the one destined to be king?”

It’s one word that speaks volumes, James shared. “There are hints of status struggles and even low self-worth in that word,” she explained. “If our monarchy is a Game of Thrones, is Harry telling us that he had to create his own ‘throne’ and power base in the US before he could enjoy his life?”

Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.